The world is a mysterious place. The can of mystery highlights some of those mysteries. This site is a class project for Amanda Warren's English 101 class at the University of South Carolina Aiken.
Articles are uploaded once a year (on average) in the fall and/or spring.
If you have questions or tips on mysteries, please leave a comment or contact AmandaW at USCA dot EDU.
Throughout the world there are many
legends revolving around artifacts from ancient civilizations but one of these
mysterious relics has baffled archeologists and scientists since their
appearance. For decades, scientists and historians have tried to discover the
true creator of the skulls with little success. No culture has ever referenced
these skulls as being part of any of their traditions which has confused
everyone who has researched the crystal skulls. Much of the confusion that
surrounds the crystal skulls origins is due to the archeologist turned
adventurer, Mitchell Hedges.
tales of the skulls magical properties were initially started by Mitchell
Hedges when he “supposedly” discovered a crystal skull in some Mayan ruins in
the 1920s. Mitchell Hedges originally displayed the crystal skull he obtained
at dinner parties he hosted where he told stories of his adventures. Since
Mitchell did not reveal the skull he found until nearly twenty years later, his
credibility is highly questionable. After his death, Mitchell’s adoptive
daughter Anna inherited the skull and lived till 2007, still believing her
father tales of the crystal skull. During Anna’s life, she speculated that her
near perfect health and longevity was due to her proximity to the crystal
skull. While scientists have concluded that the skulls do not have any special
properties associated with the quartz used in creating them, there have been no
attempts to test the skulls potential psychic abilities.
While the crystal
skulls are believed to have been created by the Aztecs fur usage in religious
ceremonies, an examination of the crystal skull at the British Museum has found evidence against these rumors. After the British museum observed
their skull at high magnification, the quartz used in making their crystal
skull had shown iron-rich chlorite deposits within the crystal that could not
have been found within the quartz deposits of Mexico and South America in Mesoamerican
times during the Aztecs reign. Marks
along the teeth of the skull also indicate that a nineteenth century cutting wheel
was used to refine the engravings along the teeth of the skull. Since cutting
wheels were not available in Mexico till 1521, we can determine that the
crystal skulls were obviously created in post-Columbian times.
The most probable
explanation for the crystal skulls existence is that they were created in
response to the sudden flow of tourists into Mexico after they achieved
independence. With so many people looking for artifacts in Mexico to send to
the museums, we can understand why the macabre appearance of these items was so
appealing to people. In conclusion, while the history of skulls has been
controversial, they have sparked interest in ancient civilizations around the
world for decades and will continue to do so for many more.
“Crystal Skull at
the British Museum”. British Museum, London. Photograph. 17 January 2009. Web.
24 October 2012.
Edwards, Owen. “The
Smithsonian's Crystal Skull”. Smithsonian,
30 May 2012. Web. 23 October 2012.
Lovett, Richard A. “Crystal Skulls Fuel Controversy, Fascination”. National Geographic. Web. 15 October
Meeks, Nigel D.
Sax, Margaret. “Study of two large crystal skulls in the collections of the
British Museum and the Smithsonian Institution”. British Museum. Web. 15 October 2012.
Thomas, Ceri Louise. “The Mystery of the Crystal Skulls”. thecrystalskulls.info. Sacred Hoop Magazine, 1998. 23 October 2012.
MacLaren. “Legend of the Crystal Skulls”. Archeological
Institute of America. Web. 23 October 2012.